|Occupation||Journalist and author|
Peter Bergen (born December 12, 1962) is a British-American journalist and author who serves as CNN's national security analyst, New America's vice president, and as a professor of practice at Arizona State University. He produced the first television interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997. The interview, which aired on CNN, marked the first time that bin Laden declared war against the United States to a Western audience.
Bergen has written or edited seven books: Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden (2001), The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader (2006), The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (2011), Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad (2012), Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion (2013), Drone Wars: Transforming Conflict, Law, and Policy (2014), and United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists (2016). Three of the books were New York Times bestsellers, four of the books were named among the best non-fiction books of the year by the Washington Post and they have been translated into twenty-one languages.
Bergen was born in Minneapolis and grew up in London, the son of Donald Thomas Bergen and Sarah Elizabeth (née Lampert). Her grandfather, Leonard Lampert, founded the Lampert Lumber Company. His family is Roman Catholic. He attended Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire before receiving an Open Scholarship to New College, Oxford, in 1981, where he graduated with a degree in Modern History. Bergen is married to the documentary director/producer Tresha Mabile. They have two children.
Bergen is Vice President for Global Studies and Fellows at New America, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C.. He also serves as New America's Director of the International Security and Future of War Programs. He is a Professor of Practice at the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University where he is the co-director of the Center on the Future of War, a research fellow at Fordham University's Center on National Security, and CNN's national security analyst. He has held teaching positions at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Bergen has worked at CNN in a variety of roles since 1990 as an analyst, correspondent, and producer. He has worked at New America in a variety of roles since 2001 as a fellow, director and vice president.
Bergen is on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, the leading scholarly journal in the field, and has testified before multiple congressional committees, including the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is a member of the Aspen Homeland Security Group. Bergen is the chairman of the board of the Global Special Operations Foundation, which is a non-profit advocating for the interests of special operations forces. He is also on the board of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, which advocates for Americans who are being held hostage and for journalists in conflict zones.
He was a fellow at New York University's Center on Law & Security between 2003 and 2011, and was a contributing editor at The New Republic for many years and also the editor of the South Asia Channel and South Asia Daily, online publications of Foreign Policy magazine from 2009 to 2016.
Holy War, Inc. (2001), a New York Times bestseller, and The Osama bin Laden I Know (2006) were named among the best non-fiction books of the year by The Washington Post. Documentaries based on both books were nominated for Emmys in 2001 and 2006. Bergen was the recipient of the 2000 Leonard Silk Journalism Fellowship and was the Pew Journalist in Residence at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 2001 while writing Holy War, Inc.
His third book, The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (2011), a New York Times bestseller, gave an overview of the War on Terror and was named by the Guardian and Newsweek as one of the key books about terrorism in the past decade. The Longest War also won the Washington Institute's Gold Prize for best book about the Middle East and was named by Amazon, Kirkus and Foreign Policy as one of the best books of 2011.
Bergen's 2012 New York Times bestseller was Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad. The Washington Post named Manhunt one of the best non-fiction books of 2012, and The Guardian named it one of the key books on Islamist extremism. It was the 2012 Sunday Times (UK) Current Affairs Book of the Year. The book was awarded the Overseas Press Club Cornelius Ryan Award for best non-fiction book of 2012 on international affairs. Manhunt was the basis of the HBO documentary film, "Manhunt", which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Emmy award for Outstanding Documentary in 2013. Bergen was Executive Producer of the film. He was awarded the Stephen Ambrose History Award in 2014.
Bergen co-edited with Katherine Tiedemann Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion, a collection of essays about the Taliban that was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. He co-edited with Daniel Rothenberg Drone Wars: Transforming Conflict, Law, and Policy, published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.
In 2016, Bergen published United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists. It was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2016 by the Washington Post. HBO adapted the book for the documentary film Homegrown: The Counterterror Dilemma.
Bergen has worked as a correspondent for the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, and CNN. He co-produced with Tresha Mabile the National Geographic Channel documentary, American War Generals (2014). Bergen and Mabile also produced CNN Films' Legion of Brothers, which premiered at Sundance in January 2017. It was released in theaters in June 2017. It was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Politics and Government documentary in 2018.
On May 2, 2016, which was the five-year anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden, CNN aired the documentary We Got Him: President Obama, Bin Laden, and the Future of the War on Terror. In addition to speaking with President Barack Obama in his first sit-down interview in the Situation Room, Bergen also conducted the first in-depth interview with the architect of the bin Laden raid, Admiral William H. McRaven, as well as interviewing senior administration officials including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Four of Bergen's books have been made into documentaries for CNN, HBO and National Geographic. The documentaries based on Holy War, Inc. and The Osama bin Laden I Know were nominated for Emmys in 2001 and 2006. Bergen was a producer of those films. Manhunt was the basis of the HBO documentary film, "Manhunt," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary in 2013. Bergen was Executive Producer of the film. HBO adapted United States of Jihad for the 2016 documentary film, "Homegrown: The Counterterror Dilemma." Bergen was Executive Producer of the film.
In 1997, as a producer for CNN, Bergen produced bin Laden's first television interview, in which he declared war against the United States for the first time to a Western audience. In 1994 he won the Overseas Press Club Edward R. Murrow award for best foreign affairs documentary for the CNN program "Kingdom of Cocaine," which was also nominated for an Emmy.
Bergen co-produced the CNN documentary, Terror Nation, which traced the links between Afghanistan and the bombers who attacked the World Trade Center for the first time in 1993. The documentary, which was shot in Afghanistan during the civil war there and aired in 1994, concluded that the country would be the source of additional anti-Western terrorism. From 1998 to 1999, Bergen worked as a correspondent-producer for CNN. He also produced documentaries on the Clinton administration, the Cali Cartel, the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, and advances in AIDS research. He was program editor for CNN Impact, a news magazine co-production of CNN and TIME, from 1997 to 1998.
Previously, he worked for CNN Special Assignment as a producer on a wide variety of international and U.S. national stories, including the first televised interview with white supremacist author, William Luther Pierce. From 1985 to 1990 he worked for ABC News in New York. In 1983, he traveled to Pakistan for the first time with two friends to make a documentary about the Afghan refugees fleeing the Soviet invasion of their country. The subsequent documentary, Refugees of Faith, was shown on Channel 4 (UK).
Bergen has reported on al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, ISIS and counterterrorism and homeland security for a variety of American newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Time, The Nation, The National Interest, Mother Jones, Newsweek, and Vanity Fair. He is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy and writes a weekly column for CNN.com. His story on extraordinary rendition for Mother Jones was part of a package of stories nominated for a 2008 National Magazine Award. He has also written for newspapers and magazines around the world such as The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, International Herald Tribune, Prospect, El Mundo (Spain), La Repubblica, The National (Abu Dhabi), Die Welt, and Der Spiegel.
In 2015, Seymour Hersh criticized Bergen for "view[ing] himself as the trustee of all things Bin Laden." That came after Bergen wrote a piece for CNN.com about Hersh's revisionist account in the London Review of Books about the raid that killed bin Laden. Bergen wrote that Hersh's account was "a farrago of nonsense that is contravened by a multitude of eyewitness accounts, inconvenient facts and simple common sense."
Bergen has appeared as a guest on The Daily Show four times.
DOCUMENTARIES & DRAMA SERIES
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
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